Protecting your eyes while on the water is just as important as protecting your skin. The sun’s glare off the water and harmful UV rays need to be combated and the best way to do this is by purchasing a good pair of sunglasses. No matter what pair you choose, you want to ensure that the sunglasses you purchase block 100% of UV rays. Below are a few things to consider when purchasing:
Polarized sunglasses are almost a necessity when on the water. Regular sunglass lenses dampen all types of light that pass through them, while polarized lenses only block horizontal wavelengths but allow vertical wavelengths to pass through them.
What does this mean to you? Polarized lenses reduce the sun’s glare off the water. For example, if you are fishing on a sunny day and you are wearing polarized glasses, they will block the glare allowing you a clearer view of what’s in the water and that can be very advantageous.
Lens color is not just about style, it also determines contrast and color. Generally speaking, the darker the lens color, the better they will perform on bright days. Lighter colors can enhance or distort colors but can work best for specific light situations.
A great resource can be found on Costa Del Mar’s website for testing lens color. This tool helps you visualize the effect of different lens tints and explains what situations they are best for.
It can be tempting to purchase sunglasses that wrap around your face to protect your eyes from light or dirt entering from the side. However, generally speaking the flatter your lenses are, the less distortion there will be. When lenses are curved, it can distort the light coming through the lenses causing images to appear inaccurate. This may lead to headaches or eye-fatigue. Always ensure that if you purchase curved sunglasses, they have passed the Prism Test and will not compromise your vision.
Oakley has a great resource on their website to visualize how curved sunglasses can distort images as they bend the light and how important it is to purchase glasses that have distortion-free prismatics.
Glass or Plastic?
Lastly, determine whether you want glass or plastic lenses. Both have their advantages: glass lenses offer the best clarity and scratch resistance; however, plastic lenses are more lightweight, durable and can be impact resistant.
Do you have a favorite pair of boating sunglasses? Share in the comments below!